skip to content

Safety-tips for Buying Toys

Safety-tips for Buying Toys

The message to parents is clear: pay attention to labels and instructions and immediately discard all plastic wrappings to make sure this holiday season is happy, healthy, and safe.

November 23, 2007 —

During past holiday seasons, parents were concerned about finding the most popular toy and would often battle other parents to get it.  Remember Tickle Me Elmo?  This year, many parents are more concerned about toy safety.  Consumer groups have issued a steady flow of information on recalled toys, safety hazards, and hints for parents as they head for the stores to find their children the perfect gift.

With all the toy recalls from 2007, some consumer groups hope that the holiday season is the safest in years.  Alan Korn, director of public policy at Safe Kids USA explained that, “I am assuming and I gather that manufacturers, retailers, the Consumer Product Safety Commission [CPSC] and consumer groups are all redoubling focus on the consumer marketplace.”  Jean Halloran of Consumers Union disagreed.  She believes that the increased number of toys being manufactured overseas, especially China, has undermined product safetey.

Regardless of the viewpoint, consumer groups agree that parents need to be on the lookout—and need to know what to look for—as they shop for their children.  Along with the CPSC, these groups have issued tips and suggestions to help parents. 

Among the suggestions:

  • Be on the lookout for warning labels. 
  • Keep toys with small parts away from children.
  • Avoid dollar stores or non-brand named toys.
  • Children under the age of six should not be given building sets with magnets—magnets have been a major choking hazard for young children.
  • Be careful of projectile toys—they are intended for older children and can harm young children.
  • Perhaps most importantly, parents need to make sure that toys are age-appropriate. 

Pay attention to labels and instructions and immediately discard all plastic wrappings to make sure this holiday season is happy, healthy, and safe.  Sign up for CPSC’s product safety alerts and look for recall lists—sometimes these toys remain on the shelves.

Comment on this article:

Buy It

Don't Buy It

  • Weapons-maker. Multiple environmental offender.
  • World's largest oil company--human rights, oil spills and misinformation about climate change
  • Unethical marketing of baby formula in developing nations
  • Racial profiling and discrimination
  • Numerous ethical problems with largest maker of household products in U.S.